Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: The Modern Art Museum (Level 11) (HIAR11124)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA course on the theory and practice of the modern art museum, with a particular focus on museum architecture, and how it shapes both visitor experience and the meaning of the works on view. The course is global in scope, and covers key trends from the 1970s to the present.
Course description Each week in this seminar-based course, we will focus on a single museum as a case study, understood as representative of a key moment in the development of the modern art museum. There will be up to ten museums covered in detail in the course, from an international range which may include MoMA, New York; the Museu de Arte de São Paulo; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; the Getty Center, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; and the 798 Art District, Beijing. An introductory class explores the main trends in museum design during the past 40 years, and how they are represented by the case studies. Although specific topics may vary from year to year, among the main trends we are likely to study are the recycling of industrial space for museums, the role of iconic museums in city branding, and the impact of the virtual museum on the design of museum buildings. By the end of the course, students will have a good understanding of the principles and concepts behind the design of up to ten art museums worldwide, as well as clear sense of how the field is developing now.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 4000 word essay 100% - submitted weeks 8-11
Feedback Students are given feedback on FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT as follows:
Students will submit a mid-semester essay plan (c.500 words) and annotated preliminary bibliography. Written feedback on the student plans will be provided with the opportunity for a one-to-one follow-up meeting.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT: Written feedback on student essays will be provided, in addition to the opportunity for a one-to-one meeting towards the end of semester.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of key developments and debates in the field of museum design.
  2. Analyse in depth the ways in which different museum designs engage with and address different models of art publics.
  3. Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the role of museums in relation to wider debates in cultural policy.
  4. Demonstrate some degree of independence in critically examining how and why broader historical changes in society have contributed to changes in museum design.
Reading List
S. MacLeod, T. Austin, J. Hale and O. Ho Hing-Kay, The Future of Museum and Gallery Design: Purpose, Process, Perception (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018)
M. Pointon (ed.), Art Apart: Museums in North America and Britain Since 1800, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994)
C. Saumarez Smith, The Art Museum in Modern Times (London: Thames and Hudson, 2021)
N. Serota, Experience or Interpretation: the Dilemma of Modern Art Museums (London: Thames and Hudson, 1996)
R. J. Williams, The Culture Factory: Architecture and the Contemporary Art Museum (London: Lund Humphries, 2021)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis; Clear thinking and the development of an argument; Independent research; Presentation and communication skills; Organisation and planning; Teamwork through group discussion
KeywordsMuseum,Architecture,Culture Industry,Creative Industries,Exhibitions,Design,Adaptive re-use
Course organiserDr Iain Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)51 3120
Course secretaryMiss Chloe Hancock
Tel: (0131 6)50 4124
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information